The Ebonyi State Government has voted N100 million counterpart fund for health insurance scheme for civil servants.
The Executive Secretary, Ebonyi State Health Insurance Agency (EBSHIA), Mrs Mary-Rose Egwu, made this known during an advocacy/sensitisation meeting with the Organised labour and other stakeholders in health sector, in Abakaliki.
The meeting was organised in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Integrated Health Programme (IHP).
The executive director explained that the state government was committed to providing basic health care for the citizens and others resident in the state.
She said that about 14,534 enrollees from the informal sector had already been captured in the scheme which was launched in 2018.
“The Ebonyi health insurance scheme is a social health insurance programme aimed at achieving the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through the provision of access to quality health care services.
“The Ebonyi Health Agency Law which established the scheme was passed in 2018 with mandate to raise financial resources that will enable citizens have access to quality health care delivery.
“We have started taking care of those in the informal sector especially the indigent and vulnerable persons.
“The governor has earmarked N100 million as its counterpart fund to help workers under her workforce to access the scheme and we believe that once they are captured and deductions made, the fund will be released.
“The governor is passionate about achieving the universal health coverage and the success of the health insurance programme in the state,” she said.
Egwu said that enrollees from the informal sector paid an annual premium of N12,000 or N1000 monthly while civil servants were expected to pay five per cent of their basic salary or 17 per cent consolidated salary.
“When an enrollee pays premium, he or she chooses a health facility of his choice from the agency’s list of accredited health facilities after being captured,” she said.
Egwu noted that the programme was open for people of all ages, social and economic backgrounds and urged leadership of the organised labour to convince their members to enroll in order to enjoy the benefits.
Mrs Chidinma Eneze, representative, USAID-IHP, in a keynote speech, said universal health care was all about inclusive health care provision which allowed individuals to access quality health service without suffering financial hardship.
She said Ebonyi health insurance agency had been repositioned to assist the government actualise the UHC programme which included a range of essential health services from health care promotion to prevention.
One of the participants, Mr Leonard Nkah, Chairman, Nigerian Labour Congress ((NLC), in a goodwill message, commended the executive secretary for repositioning the agency.
He assured the readiness of labour to cooperate in convincing workers to buy into the scheme to enable its full take-off in Ebonyi like some states where the programme had taken off.
“From the presentation today we are satisfied with what the agency has achieved and we are going to take the message home to our members,” Nkah said.